Saucony Xodus 10 Performance Review

An incredibly cushioned, maximalist trail shoe, the Saucony Xodus 10 is built for spending the day in the mountains. Originally marketed as more of a hiking shoe, the Xodus 10 shed a good amount of weight and has been reimagined as an all-day trail cruiser.

Saucony Xodus 10 Performance Review

The main change to the shoe is its PWRUN+ expanded bead TPU foam midsole, which makes the shoe light, comfortable, and energetic.

Surprisingly versatile and significantly lighter than its predecessor, the Xodus 10 still provides plenty of room for feet that spread and swell over the course of a long, active day. 

The reconfigured PWRTRAC outsole will lend confidence on the trails as well as a smooth ride on groomed, hard-packed, or otherwise smooth surface types. 

Stats

  • Manufacturer: Saucony
  • Official Weight: 11.7oz Men’s US9/ 10.5oz Women’s US8
  • Heel and forefoot stack height: 31.5mm heel/ 27.5mm forefoot (4mm drop)
  • Shoe Class: Jack of All Trades/Best for Big Mountain Adventures

What We Liked vs. What We Didn't Like

Pros:

  1. Cushion - Saucony’s PWRUN+ expanded bead TPU foam makes up the majority of the midsole of the Xodus 10. This bouncy, energetic foam saves your legs on descents and reduces muscular tearing throughout ultra-distance events. 
  2. Traction - The tacky PWRTRAC rubber outsole and directional chevron lugs lend ample traction to the Xodus 10 over a variety of tough terrain. Wet or dry, you’ll feel confident grinding up steep climbs and tearing down technical descents. 
  3. Versatility - As far as trail shoes go, the Xodus 10 is able to transition smoothly from technical to hard-packed trails and even performs well on the roads. Because of the PWRUN+ midsole and the redesigned outsole, this former hiking shoe is surprisingly comfortable on the roads as well as the trails. 
  4. Ride - A secure foothold and plush, bouncy midsole give this shoe an energetic ride that will keep you going for miles. Responsive but not overly rigid, you’ll feel comfortable and confident over long distances.
  5. Customizable features - Hard rubber tracks equipped with ports for ice screws and drainage holes run from heel to toe along the outsole of this shoe. This makes it easy to transform the Xodus 10 from an everyday-run type of shoe to an all-out adventure shoe with just a few modifications. 

Cons:

  1. Weight - Weighing in at 11.7/10.5 oz, the Xodus 10 is definitely one of the heavier shoes on the market. It isn’t built for speed, but for comfort, so if you’re looking for something light and fast, this is important to note. 
  2. Laces - The thin, flat laces are a little slippery and should be knotted more than once, but most runners are already habituated to double knotting their shoes anyway, I would imagine. 
  3. Lack of ground feel - As with other maximally cushioned trail shoes, the ground feel of the Xodus 10 is quite muted. Your feet will be well protected, but some runners may prefer a shoe that allows for a bit more connection with the terrain. 
  4. Price - At  $150, the Xodus 10 is fairly middle-of-the-road as far as highly cushioned trail shoes go. As someone who always buys the previous version of a shoe in order to snag a sale price, this looks expensive to me, but for such a durable and versatile shoe, this really isn’t such a crazy price. 
  5. Style - I’m really just grasping at straws here. This is an excellent shoe available in muted colors. To be honest, I like the understated colorways quite a bit, but some runners may prefer more or flashier options. 

Fit and Comfort (Score 10/10)

Upper

More streamlined than its previous version, Saucony’s Formfit upper is made from a flexible, breathable high-abrasion mesh. This tightly-woven mesh ensures that dust and debris do not enter the shoe. 

Pliable welded overlays provide extra security and protection from the elements without feeling restrictive or constraining. A gaiter ring is also attached for those looking for extra protection on your adventures!

Toe box

The wide toe box allows feet to spread and splay over the course of a day in the mountains. The Saucony Xodus 10 fits true to size, and, although it is a roomy shoe to begin with, a wide version is available for runners who prefer even more wiggle room for their toes. 

Midfoot

Saucony’s Formfit upper fits snugly around the midfoot. It supports and secures the foot in place without being overly constrictive.

The tongue is incredibly well padded, which allows for all-day comfort and added stability through the midfoot. You won’t notice any rubbing or hot spots, as this tongue is very comfortable.

You will find that the heel counter, as well, is quite padded. This highly structured heel provides security and stability when running side hills and steep slopes. 

Previous complaints about past versions of this shoe included hard plastic poking out of the heel as the cushion wore away. Saucony has done away with this hard plastic, and this is no longer an issue with this shoe. 

Lacing

The lacing system of the Xodus 10 is very secure and customizable. They are equipped with a lace keeper, as well, to keep them lying flat and in place throughout your adventure. 

The laces are flat, however, and quite thin. They require multiple knots to stay tied, which isn’t a huge problem, just something to note.

Midsole

The feature of the Xodus 10 that adds the most to its extreme comfort level is the plush PWRUN+ expanded bead TPU foam. If, like me, you’re a fan of the adidas Boost line, you know exactly how comfortable these cushy foam beads can be. 

These beads are more uniformly shaped than those that make up the Boost foam, making that bouncy feeling in the midsole seem a bit more controlled. 

Soft, protective, and bouncy, this midsole is designed to make long days on the trail more enjoyable than ever. However, don’t expect this shoe to be very fast or responsive. Its purpose is geared toward cushion and comfort, not speed.

Saucony claims that the beads are more durable and less temperature-sensitive than the Everun EVA foam used in the previous versions of the shoe. For cold-weather warriors, this is an important feature, as you want your shoes to retain their bounciness even in below-freezing temperatures. 

Not only is the PWRUN+ material more durable and flexible than Everun, but it’s also significantly lighter (Saucony claims 25% lighter!), which has contributed to the Xodus 10’s 2.3oz drop in weight. 

Outsole (Score 9/10)

Traction

As mentioned above, the Xodus was originally more of a hiking shoe than a running shoe. This version is far lighter but only slightly less aggressive. The lug height has been reduced from 6mm to 5mm, which helps the shoe transition a bit more easily from trail to road. 

The sticky, rubber PWRTRAC outsole lends traction on nearly any surface - wet or dry. Two harder rubber strips run from the heel to the toe and are equipped with locations for ice screws for those looking for even more traction!

Drainage holes may also be drilled in the outsole to allow you to feel a bit less bogged down when navigating creek crossings or training through rainy days.

Lug size/pattern

The 5mm lugs are placed in an opposite chevron pattern, facing forward from the midfoot to the toe, and backward from the midfoot to the heel. This allows for extra traction when running both uphill and downhill. 

Protection

A flexible, woven rock plate protects your feet while allowing the shoes to remain fairly flexible and giving your feet full range of motion. 

Ground feel is reduced by the PWRUN+ midsole, but your feet remain maximally protected from any sharp rocks or roots on the trail. 

The welded overlays of the upper integrate with a wrap-around toe bumper to provide even more protection for those tired toes.  

Ride (Score 9/10)

Unlike many shoes built for long days in the mountains, the Saucony Xodus 10 transitions quite seamlessly from the technical trails to smooth road running. 

The flexibility of the outsole, combined with the soft and cushioning PWRUN+ expanded bead TPU foam, reduces the uncomfortable stiffness and slapping that you’ll often feel with trail shoes on hard-packed trails or trail to road transitions. 

This is a great shoe for runners who like to have just one shoe and to use that shoe for nearly everything. The Xodus 10 is smooth enough for use on hard-packed, groomed trails or for shorter runs at a faster clip, but is cushioned and grippy enough for long days in the mountains. 

Plush and bouncy, the Xodus 10 is an energetic and stable shoe built for miles over all sorts of terrain. My favorite long run route is a three-hour route including equal amounts of paved roads and trails, a few dirt roads, multiple steep ascents and descents, and a creek crossing. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to wear this shoe on such a route.

Stability

The high-abrasion mesh of the Xodus 10, while being light, flexible, and non-constraining, is still incredibly secure. If you lace the shoes to your desired fit (and double-knot them), the secure upper, in combination with a thick, padded tongue and secure heel lock, keeps your foot in place, even while running hard on steep, technical, and uneven terrain. 

The thick, cushioned midsole doesn’t affect the shoe’s overall stability but really absorbs shock on those hard descents without getting in the way. 

Weight

While definitely on the heavy side, the Xodus 10 has dropped a significant amount of weight from its previous version (2.3oz). Most of this weight drop comes from the new PWRUN+ midsole. 

Comfortable and shock-absorbing, this thick midsole is worth every ounce! For a heavy and stable shoe, the Xodus 10 is extremely versatile and could be used for everyday training runs to multi-day adventures, and everything in between. 

Just know that it isn’t a shoe built for speed, and if heavy, maximalist shoes aren’t your preference, don’t bother with this one. 

Value (Score 8/10)

Durability

Extremely durable and versatile, the Xodus 10 holds up well in tough conditions, showing little signs of wear-and-tear after 50+ miles on the trail. 

Price

At $150.00, this shoe is on the expensive end for Saucony. When compared with other maximalist trail shoes, $150.00 is pretty run-of-the-mill. Considering this shoe’s versatility and potential to be your go-to trainer, this price seems reasonable. 

Fit and Comfort (35%) = 10

Outsole (25%) = 9

Ride (20%) = 9 

Value (20%) = 8

Overall score (Score 9/10)

Conclusion

The Saucony Xodus 10 truly is an all-around excellent shoe for a long day in the mountains. With a bouncy, cushioned midsole and an aggressive, protective outsole, the Xodus 10 will keep you comfy and having fun all day long. 

The surprising versatility of the Xodus 10 brought about by its responsive midsole, and customizable outsole makes it a great choice for runners who enjoy mixing things up over a variety of terrain, including on the roads. 

Still not quite sure about the Xodus 10? Check out our recommendations below: 

Looking for something a bit more aggressive?

Try: Saucony Peregrine 10

Even more streamlined, light, and aggressive, the Peregrine 10 will give you a bit more ground feel without sacrificing traction or stability. Lighter and less cushioned than the Xodus 10, the Peregrine is better for an aggressive, speed-focused training session than for an all-day jaunt in the hills. 

Looking for something cushioned but a bit lighter?

Try: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Hoka fans who are looking for a similarly cushioned shoe that does well in gnarly conditions may enjoy the Speedgoat 4. The Speedgoat 4 is a bit lighter than the Xodus 10 but doesn’t transition as well between the road and the trail. It is still an excellent choice, however, for those looking to spend long hours on moderate to technical trails. 

Looking for something with a natural foot shape?

Try: Altra Olympus 4

Another highly cushioned and grippy trail shoe, the Altra Olympus 4, would be a good choice for runners with wider feet. While the Xodus 10 is available in a wide version, the Olympus may suit those who prefer Altra’s natural FootShape design.